Statement by Commissioner Stella Kyriakides on World Blood Donor Day

Source: European Commission (EC) i, published on Sunday, June 13 2021.

On the occasion of World Blood Donor Day on 14 June 2021, Stella Kyriakides i, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, made the following statement:

“Tomorrow, on World Blood Donor Day, I want to applaud all those who save lives by regularly giving a little of their time, and a little of themselves, to help others. Modern science and medicine have advanced in ways we could not have imagined just decades ago, and yet, the success of many of the sophisticated treatments we take for granted today still depend on blood transfusions.

Some 25 million blood transfusions are carried out across the EU in a wide range of life-saving procedures every year. Blood plasma also plays a vital role with 8 million litres donated to tackle immune deficiency and make life-saving medicines for conditions such as haemophilia, a rare condition that affects the blood's ability to clot.

In the past 18 months, I have been heartened by the extraordinary efforts of blood and plasma donors. Despite lockdowns, limited movement and other challenges, blood donors have continued to donate blood and plasma. This selfless act has meant that patients who rely on transfusions have not been left short. This highlights the debt of gratitude we owe to these dedicated donors.

This year the donor community has even grown, as many who have recovered from COVID-19 have become plasma donors themselves, facilitating efforts across the EU, and around the world, to research the potential use of convalescent plasma to help patients fight the disease. Over 130,000 COVID-19 convalescent plasma donations have been registered on an EU platform and, with the Emergency Support Instrument funding, new or expanded plasma collection centres are now working across the EU.

So a heartfelt thanks goes out to those who have donated for many years and also to those who have joined this special community that quietly performs its selfless acts of solidarity each and every day. And on this particular day, my message remains: become a donor, you'll save lives.”

For more information

COVID-19 convalescent plasma transfusion

World Health Organization - World Blood Donor Day

EU Strategy on COVID-19 Therapeutics